Thursday, July 23, 2020

Landfill seeks to dump wastewater in Johnson Creek

Arbor Hills landfill.  © 2020 Google
Northville Mayor Bryan Turnbull and Northville Township Supervisor Robert Nix have reportedly both expressed their support for the efforts of an environmental group attempting to prevent the disposal of waste water from Arbor Hills landfill into a tributary of Johnson Creek.
Advanced Disposal Services, which owns the landfill, has submitted two permit requests to Great Lakes and Energy Nonpoint Source Program (EGLE) , to allow the discharge of leachate, or liquids present in the waste at the landfill, and rainwater, into the nearby tributary of Johnson Creek. A Northville environmental activist group, The Conservancy Initiative, apparently learned of the permit applications through a series of Freedom of Information Act requests.

Advanced Disposal Services has been cited by EGLE for hundreds of odor violations and has been the topic of complaints at numerous Northville Township meetings.
In a published statement, representatives of the landfill owners stated, “permit approvals and conditions are necessary to treat and discharge water that has been collected from its Salem Township compost facility. Arbor Hills is continuing to make investments in the landfill to ensure operational and environmental performance.
 “The proper management of water throughout our facility is a top priority in meeting performance goals.  Any water returned to the environment will be required to meet strict water quality standards set by regulators,” the statement read.
Members of the environmental group claim that the discharge points for the wastewater will result in approximately 100,000 gallons per day of treated leachate entering the Johnson Creek through a tributary running east from Napier Road to the Cold Water Spring Nature Area along the southern border of the Northville Ridge Community.
If allowed, the leachate would flow into Johnson Creek, a low-flow, cold-water fishery. The group claims that the proposed changes are cost-savings initiatives that are contrary to sustainability efforts. The landfill is reportedly requesting permission to discharge up to 15,000 gallons of leachate a day into Johnson Creek and up to 80,000 gallons of waste water than has historically contained PCBs.